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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Chopsticks in Chinatown sweet conclusion: Emperors Garden and Passionflower, Haymarket

There is no such thing as too much dessert.

Besides, we needed a little pick-me-up after an entire day of photographing, shopping, snacking and er, eating.

After a quick whip-around the Emperor's Garden bakery--tray in one hand, tongs in the other--Saffron is keen to have an Emperor's Puff, a gastronomic urge I am obliged to help satisfy.

It's not hard to see why any foodie wouldn't be addicted. A tiny little window facing Dixon Street mall, a Willy Wonka-type contraption stamping away, a sign that says "Caution" in the biggest reddest lettering available, and a price of only $1.00 for five!

We get into the short queue (there's always a queue!) and within a minute we are at the window. The wheezing, clunking, dunking contraption squeezes dollops of dough into gem-irons, which rotate, dance and sing until *ker-plunk*, a chorus line of golden girls roll our way.

I would have liked to have stood there for longer (just as I love watching the donut-making process at Krispy Kreme) but the impatient jabbing of my kidney from behind snaps me out of my Homer-Simpson reverie.

Saffron kindly offers me an Emperor's Puff. Fresh from the oven, the vanilla cake is warm and sweet with a core of hot eggy custard (CAUTION!).

Bite-size and easy on the wallet, no wonder these are popular with uni students, kids and curious tourists.

After a quick glance at our watches, we hotfoot it down the road to Passionflower to meet up again with Pinkcocoa and Shin Chan, who have been errand-running for the past fifteen minutes.

I think Passionflower was where I first discovered Asian-style ice creams... black sesame, green tea, sticky rice, lychee, taro and yes, even wasabi (which is disappointingly devoid of any sinus-clearing mustard properties).

They have the run-of-the-mill flavours too of course: chocolate, hazelnut, wildberry, rum and raisin, and lemon; but who wants any of those when more exotic fare is on offer?

We hem and haw over the eat-in menu of ice cream by the scoop, waffles, pancakes and an assortment of ice cream sundae extravanganzas.

After protracted contemplation, a period of negotiation and then a series of delighted smiles, we somehow all agree to share two ice cream sundaes--the exact two I'd been looking at (Score!).

Black and white seduction $10.90
Black sesame and coconut ice cream with black jelly and drowned in a shot of evaporated milk

Eastern banana split $12.50
Japanese green tea, taro and sticky rice ice creams served with fresh banana wedges, topped with lychee salad compote

Both are very very good. Black sesame ice cream has long been a favourite of mine, and the grass jelly and evaporated milk make a pleasant contrast.

The Eastern banana split is also more-ish. Green tea ice cream is always a winner with me (sweet but not too sickly) and the taro is stronger in flavour than I remember (but still good). I've had the sticky rice ice cream before and my opinion remains the same--it's a little too grainy and chewy with bits of rice grains scattered throughout.

The lychees are tasty and the waffle basket is also delicious (enhanced with the flavour of banana where they've been in contact).

But of course photos must be taken first (poor Shin Chan-- he really was super patient with us all day)...

Then it's spoons in...

And about 2.4 minutes of contented silence...

A long day but a throughly enjoyable one. And woohoo! This is the final Chopsticks in Chinatown post. Yay!

...Fortune cookie?

Emperors Garden Bakery
Dixon Street (near corner of Hay Street), Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: 02 9211 2135

Capitol Square Atrium, Shop G12
730-742 George Street, Haymarket, Sydney
(behind the Capitol Theatre)
Tel: 02 9281 8322

More mouthfuls from our Chinatown banquet:
Grab Your Fork
Chopsticks in Chinatown Part I: Dragonstar, Haymarket
Chopsticks in Chinatown Part II: Dim sum fun
Chopsticks in Chinatown Part III: Lucky Thai sweets, Haymarket
Chopsticks in Chinatown Part IV: Thai Kee supermarket, Haymarket

Saffron from The Food Palate
Not Just Yum Cha: Part I
Not Just Yum Cha: Part II
Not Just Yum Cha: Part III
9 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 7/27/2005 11:54:00 pm


  • At 7/28/2005 1:30 am, Blogger eat stuff said…

    I heart all those places :)

  • At 7/28/2005 7:24 am, Blogger deborah said…

    Aaaah sweet conclusion. I would like to have an EBS again soon me thinks! Oh, and I should clarify, I have had the cream puffs before... many a time... when I should have been studying ;)

  • At 7/28/2005 7:49 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    Great pictures. The eastern banana split looks delicious.
    Not my cup of tea but very tempting

  • At 7/28/2005 4:35 pm, Blogger deborah said…

    You have done a marvelous job documenting our adventures! Much better than I.

    And thanks for correcting. I didn't intend for you to do that :\

    But I am looking forward to the Pyrmont Markets. I've already set it as a calendar entry so that my mobile then syncs in with my alarm and wake me up. If only it had robotic arms to pull me out of bed and get me out of the house! LOL

  • At 7/28/2005 7:44 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    I'm supposed to be on a diet and you post pics of these yummy treats. In fact, I felt compelled to eat some ice cream tonight! Thanks...and it was worth every bite! =P

  • At 7/30/2005 7:27 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lovely..! the creme puff is to die for..! and i love .. the ice cream..!!

  • At 4/07/2007 11:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am afraid to say I found a far better Asian ice cream.
    It is in
    Il Dolce Freddo in Melbourne's Lygon St.

    Have one bite their Durian, pandan or green tea gelato. I wouldn't be surprised you will feel ripped off for far too long.

  • At 4/08/2007 8:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey there Augustus Gloop - I was recently up in your part of town and finally got to try the Emperor's puff myself. Yum!! I NEED those down in Melbourne ;-)

  • At 4/11/2007 11:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi there Helen,
    I sadly do feel ripped off having to pay 15$ for 3 scoops of ice cream in Passion Flower.
    Similar offering in Melbourne will only set me back 5$ with far better taste, full body flavor like no other!
    Well, FYI try Gelato Messina at Victoria St, Darlinghurst.
    I would highly recommend their coconut-lychee and mango flavor as the most formiddable match for Melbourne's Durian flavor. =)


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